desert options that change regularly.
Try one of our specialty beers.
There's nothing ordinary here!
have an excellent selection of domestic and imported wines.
(Article previously published in the Dixon Telegraph)
Orom serves up ‘wonderful service and unbelievably good food’.
There’s a mystic feeling to the word Orom, and appropriate name for the newest fine dining restaurant in Dixon. Orom is Hungarian for both “joy” and “pinnacle” and a tribute to Chef Mark Framke’s grandmother, Anna Csazar, who instilled a love for cooking when he was 8, teaching him to make pancakes and egg drop soup.
The name is descriptive of the feelings Chef Framke, 50, and his wife, Lisa, 49 believe embodies the essence of Orom. “It’s that intangible blend of camaraderie, vision, heart and soul that intertwine to create an exceptional experience for our guests,” Lisa said.
The food and atmosphere certainly deliver on their aspirations. The
Framkes opened the restaurant in April 2012.
The building at 308 W. First St. in Dixon has been home to many tenants since it was built in 1909.
The couple patiently and painstakingly renovated the interior. The most daunting task was the restoration of the 100-year-old yellow pine floor, accomplished with the help of Lisa’s parents, Robert and Barbara Linboom. Challenging as well was installing the three-story kitchen exhaust system.
Guests have described Orom as “chic, comfortable and happy” with intimate seating for 38 guests.
“It was my intention to keep as much of the beautiful, original architecture as possible and mix it with some masculine, modern updates.” Lisa explained, “We wanted to create a unique space or our patrons that would enhance their dining experience.” “It feels like she pulled a piece of Chicago westward,” added her husband.
The rich, warm interior colors are complemented by John DeLong paintings. DeLong, of Dixon describes his styles as “modern and abstract” that partners well with the interior. He is modest about his art, saying, “It’s something I can have fun with in my spare time.”
On opening day, DeLong was hanging art until the last minute. “I absolutely love it,” he said. “It’s a touch of Chicago in Dixon, and nice to have another choice for excellent food in a great atmosphere.” The menu is every bit as inviting as the décor.
Linda Brantley dines at Orom several times a week. “I love it, just love it!” she said. “I have always had wonderful service and unbelievable good food. The presentation is beautiful. “I travel to Antwerp, Belgium, each year, and Orom’s décor and food remind me of my favorite restaurant there.”
Chef Framke said it was important to prepare a feast for the eyes, too. “Presentation is important because people eat with their eyes first.” Framke said, “Ultimately, it’s the balance of flavors that matters most. That’s where the joy and passion lie – massaging the flavor of a dish by adding a little ‘this’ and balancing it out with a touch of ‘that’ until you’ve created something that makes you go, ‘Incredible; that’s good!”
Guests begin their epicurean adventure with Eloetel (salads/appetizers). Eclectic selections may include roasted beets and goat cheese or perhaps a palette pleasing Mediterranean plate of feta, olives and hummus with a balsamic glaze.
The Floetel (entrees) are just as enticing. The menu offers five entrees and changes frequently. Three daily specials are offered based on the availability of fresh ingredients. Guest might dine on Chicken Paillard, a dish with tomatoes, capers and olives paired with roasted potatoes, or Ducka Ducka, a seared duck breast with cherry gastrique and polenta. A fresh fish option is offered each day, recently a cherry wood smoked lake trout with mascarpone risotto. Interesting soups, desserts and appetizers are created fresh each day as well.
Susan Senn of Dixon and her boyfriend have been there twice and are eager to return. “Orom is different because they locally source their foods,” she said. “The result is a menu that is fluid changes often and represents fresh foods when they are at their best. I had a duck duo course on my first visit. I think it was called ‘ducka ducka’ I’m a sucker for duck.”
DeLong, also a frequent guest, had rave reviews for the food as well, listing as his favorites the lamb chops and a “fantastic caramel corn sorbet.”
Chef Framke, a Chicago native, trained at the Washburn Culinary Academy in Chicago. Most recently, Framke was executive chef at Rock River Golf and Pool. “I had been wandering around with this idea for a restaurant in my head since I was a kid growing up in the city, and my grandfather and uncles had bakeries on the South Side,” he said. “I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps in business, but as a restaurant. Well, I lucked into this one. I found the love of my life, and she has supported and helped turn my dream into reality.” The Framkes met in 2006 through mutual friends and married in 2008. “Promises kept,” Lisa said. “We had promised one another that we would support each other’s dreams. He supported me through graduate school. I am now supporting him in the dream he has held on to.”
Lisa knows her way around the restaurant business as well. Her first job was waiting tables at age 16. Subsequently, she has spent more than 24 years in the restaurant industry. Lisa’s daughter Sydni Reubin is sous-chef, and Ross Reubin a waiter until he leaves for the Air Force this fall.
Lisa shared a quote from Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian designer (1890-1973), that speaks to what guides her and her husband:
“Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the moral.”
To their guests and friends, the Framkes extend their gratitude in
Koszonom a szeretetet. (Thank you with love.)